On Twitter, anyone can read, write and share messages of up to 140 characters. These messages are public and available to anyone interested in them.
Twitter users subscribe to your messages by following your account. Followers receive every one of your messages in their timeline, a feed of all the accounts they have subscribed to.
When you Tweet for business
- You have 140 characters (and ideally less) to get your message across.
Twitter is public so only write what you would be happy to see published in a newspaper that your mum was reading. Be polite, helpful and informative. Be friendly but perhaps not too friendly . . .
- Having said that, Twitter is a conversation so being spontaneous and genuine is what it’s all about . . . just not as spontaneous and genuine as you might be at home!
- Engage your audience. Think about the people you want to reach out to, what are they're interested in and ask questions.
- Respond to negative Tweets if the complaint is actionable but don’t feel the need to respond to every moan and complaint. It’s about being responsive, not necessarily apologetic.
- However, use opinions and complaints to demonstrate excellent customer service where possible, especially to correct mis-information or mis-understandings
- Remember if you have synced your twitter account to other social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook all the points above apply and must be followed strictly. If you don’t realise that you have linked the two together, you can spam your twitter account with irrelevant information.
- If you don’t feel comfortable publishing your message on twitter via other platforms, un-syncing the associated twitter account is the safest option.
When you Re-Tweet
- Again, pass on information that is genuinely useful.
- Be a human being. If someone tweets something that makes you laugh, or they are really happy about something, this is exactly the sort of thing to Re-Tweet.
When you follow
- Remember the list of who you follow is also public, so follow organisations and people that are relevant and appropriate to your business.
- The timeline of news should be genuinely interesting and useful for you. Every so often find more people to follow and cull the ones that aren't useful or interesting (or fill your feed with nonsense).
'Cold weather coming? http://url/ Check our life saving tips for the elderly'
This tweet is 75 characters long, so has 65 characters left to allow people to edit and retweet. Also the link is in the middle which is easier on the eye and more likely to be clicked.
Hashtags allow users to search or sort topics into useful categories. By creating your own hashtag, you can use it to drive conversations about your business. Or if your hosting an event, you can create a hashtag for it and encourage attendees to use the hashtag when tweeting about the event. But you should make use of hashtags sparingly and only when they bring additional context to a tweet that would otherwise be absent.
Twitter users have developed short-form syntax to make the most of 140 characters. Tweets should be under 100 characters ideally as this means they are easy to retweet with added comments. These are the Twitter fundamentals:
|Mention:||Once you've signed up and chosen a Twitter username, you and others can mention an account in your Tweets by preceding it with the @ symbol, eg: "Glad your shipment arrived @janesmith!"
|Retweet:||When you see a Tweet by another user that you want to share, click Retweet below it to forward it to your followers instantly.|
|Message:||If you want to privately Tweet to a particular user who's already following you, start your Tweet with DM or D to direct-message them, eg: "DM @joesmith234what is your order number?"This will only be visible to you and the twitter account you have direct messaged.|
|Hashtag:||Users often add # to words in their Tweets to categorize them for others - think of hashtags as the theme of your Tweet. Users can then click on a hashtag to see other similarly-themed tweets and find yours in search.|
For more information on when and how often to tweet etc, please see these other blogs: